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Rain Gutter Tips Tricks and Facts

We rarely think of rain gutters as an interesting topic of conversation to trot out at cocktail parties, but they’re more fascinating than you may think! Don’t believe us? Here are seven rain gutter facts for your entertainment:

  1. Rain Gutters as we know them today were invented in the early 1900s.

  2. Prior to the 19th century, rain gutters were made from wood. Today, we can find them in plastic, aluminum, and steel, and most North American rain gutters are seamless.

  3. Ancient Greeks and Romans used gargoyles on their buildings to direct rain away from the important parts of the building. Many believe gargoyles were also used to ward off evil spirits.

  4. The standing water in your gutter, if improperly installed, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

  5. Lots of words rhyme with gutter, but none rhyme with “Eave Trough” (which is a more technical term for rain gutters).

  6. Regular gutter cleaning can be fatal, if you’re not careful! According to the CPSC, there are approximately 164,000 injuries in the U.S. every year related to ladders.

  7. Hundreds, or maybe thousands, of children’s toys are found in gutters annually! You’ll mostly find balls up there, but also Frisbees, badminton birdies, Barbies, toy cars, and more!

Tips & Tricks

Rain gutters are as common as a driveway and sidewalk. Most homes come equipped with these water deterrents to prevent potential damages due to storms and other unforeseen weather events. Here is a list of helpful hints that will empower you to take control over what happens to your home during a storm.

  • At most homes, gutter spikes are used to hold your gutters in place but often times they miss the rafters entirely, usually because the spikes have worked their way out of their holes over the course of many years. It’s a good idea to invest in new gutter spikes every now and then so that your gutters are securely fastened and prevent poor drainage.

  • Another thing you want to look at are the sources of any leaks or drips, including holes in your gutters and cracked caulking in the seams. Use an old chisel to scrape the old caulking out and dry the affected area thoroughly. Then use new bead silicon sealing to keep water from getting down behind the gutters and rotting your boards.

  • During your inspection, check out the rivets on the downspout. Frequently, they’ll be loose or will have dropped out completely. All that is needed is a rivet gun to secure them.

  • You can purchase new rivets at your local hardware store. You can also buy a rivet gun which generally sells for about $20.

  • Once you’ve finished with the mechanics and secured your gutter, you can attend to cleaning them. The best way is with a pressure washer, which you can rent or even purchase for anywhere from $60 to hundreds of dollars. Follow the instructions that come with the washer for best practices. Usually, the washer can be used with your everyday garden-hose.

  • A pressure washer will not damage your gutters, provided you’ve secured the gutters with screws or new spikes. The real key is to avoid hitting the gutters at too high an angle or you’ll blow the shingles off with a high-pressure stream of water.

  • If the gutters are rusting, they are very old. They’ve moved to aluminum and vinyl gutters now, which don’t rust. If you witness rust on your gutters, you may want to consider new gutters. If you’re going to stay with the old ones, first get all the rust off, sand them down, paint them with a good primer and then coat them with a quality rust-inhibiting paint.

  • A splash block is a very important element. It keeps the water coming out of the downspouts from digging a trench next to the house, and it keeps water away from the home’s foundation.

  • Decomposed leaves from your gutter may be best when put into your garbage bin, but they also make great mulch or compost which you can use for landscaping projects.

  • If leaves and debris are clogging your downspout, water won’t drain properly, and along with mildew and mud, the extra weight will pull on your gutters, causing them to hang or drag.

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Be sure to contact Redlands Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for all your service and accessory needs. We provide “Service Worth Bragging About” to the Inland Empire including; Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, Beaumont, Highland, Riverside, Banning, and Rancho Cucamonga.

Rain gutter